What gives with the nitrates??

jcook54

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I had one heck of a time keeping nitrates at detectable levels in my frag system (Salifert Test Kit). I was even dosing nitrates for about 6 months. I took a 3 prong approach and now they tend to be in the 2-3 range with regular water changes and I'm ok with that.
  • Increase feeding. I used to feed 2 frozen cubes twice a week for a total of 4 cubes per week. Flake/pellets were fed when frozen wasn't. I started adding one additional cube of frozen 2x per week for a total of 6 cubes per week.
  • Slowly added more fish. This tank is a frag tank and I had a few "worker" fish but the nitrates were always really low. I added two PJ cardinals and a small o. clown to the tank just for the poop. Right now this 60g frag tank has 6 fish that are all somewhat small.
  • I pulled some of the live rock from my sump. When I changed the tank over, I took every bit of healthy rock and put it in the sump of the new system so I'd have a lot of bio filtration. Over the course of a few months, I removed a decent size piece every other week. I didn't want to go nuts and really throw things off so I did it very, very slowly.
With these 3 steps, I've reached a decent balance where I consistently get detectable nitrates in the 2-3 range on my Salifert kit. The colors are much better than they were when nitrates were low and I'm currently having the same low nitrate issue in my coral QT. The o. clown used to live in the coral QT and the colors on my test pieces have taken a nose dive since I moved him over to the frag tank. I'm currently looking to get another one.
 

Adam

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I had one heck of a time keeping nitrates at detectable levels in my frag system (Salifert Test Kit). I was even dosing nitrates for about 6 months. I took a 3 prong approach and now they tend to be in the 2-3 range with regular water changes and I'm ok with that.
  • Increase feeding. I used to feed 2 frozen cubes twice a week for a total of 4 cubes per week. Flake/pellets were fed when frozen wasn't. I started adding one additional cube of frozen 2x per week for a total of 6 cubes per week.
  • Slowly added more fish. This tank is a frag tank and I had a few "worker" fish but the nitrates were always really low. I added two PJ cardinals and a small o. clown to the tank just for the poop. Right now this 60g frag tank has 6 fish that are all somewhat small.
  • I pulled some of the live rock from my sump. When I changed the tank over, I took every bit of healthy rock and put it in the sump of the new system so I'd have a lot of bio filtration. Over the course of a few months, I removed a decent size piece every other week. I didn't want to go nuts and really throw things off so I did it very, very slowly.
With these 3 steps, I've reached a decent balance where I consistently get detectable nitrates in the 2-3 range on my Salifert kit. The colors are much better than they were when nitrates were low and I'm currently having the same low nitrate issue in my coral QT. The o. clown used to live in the coral QT and the colors on my test pieces have taken a nose dive since I moved him over to the frag tank. I'm currently looking to get another one.
Feed the QT, no fish needed there. Every other day when I feed the fish systems I add some frozen to the QT's. In between those days I either add Brightwell Restor or Reef Bugs & Goni Power.

You saw the 40QT and it's doing well. The 20QT is starting to do much better since I started this regimen up.
 

gill

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One of the best 3 pieces of advice in this hobby: if the corals and fish are happy, don't chase testing parameters. I would ignore this and enjoy your success.
 

Dmac

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One of the best 3 pieces of advice in this hobby: if the corals and fish are happy, don't chase testing parameters. I would ignore this and enjoy your success.
I think I'll try to have that attitude. Even with the couple Coral that aren't doing well, I gotta remember not every coral is going to thrive in every tank.
 

gill

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I think I'll try to have that attitude. Even with the couple Coral that aren't doing well, I gotta remember not every coral is going to thrive in every tank.
THIS. ^^^
I have good SPS, montis going crazy, great hammers and other euphylia, but I cannot for the life of me keep an elegance coral.
 

sharis100

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I am going to try out the GHL ion director to evaluate to see if I get valid phosphate and nitrate measurements- if it ever ships… they promised August ship date but we will see. Right now use Hannah checkers and NYOS, which works out well. Only check monthly unless my tank visual inspection 🧐 suggests a change….
 

Wmb0003

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I am going to try out the GHL ion director to evaluate to see if I get valid phosphate and nitrate measurements- if it ever ships… they promised August ship date but we will see. Right now use Hannah checkers and NYOS, which works out well. Only check monthly unless my tank visual inspection 🧐 suggests a change….
I did not think the ion dorector could measure phosphates. If it does, I will have to look into it once it hits the market.
 

sharis100

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I did not think the ion dorector could measure phosphates. If it does, I will have to look into it once it hits the market.
First they have to ship it - which apparently appears to be on indefinite hold… and then they are supposed to have an upgrade…. But not holding my breath as they promised this last year and even before the pandemic…..
 
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